Does organic pest control really work? The Honest Answer

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Namaskar Desi Gardeners. When I started gardening as a hobby, I was just a layman. Like most of us, I was wondering how to get more and more flowers and fruits. I wanted to apply organic pest control because I had an idea how bad chemicals could be for bees and butterflies.

However, when I started gardening, I faced the difficulties straight on the face. Diseases and pests hit my entire garden every other season and to stop my beloved plants from dying, I was forced to use some chemical based applications.

At that time, I neither had the right knowledge nor the experience to save my plants from dying. But now I can say that I have almost shifted to organic pest control.

organic pest control

Whatever I am sharing here is fully from my experience.

Best organic pest control methods for Indian climate 

Before I tell you about the organic pest control solutions, here is a small introduction to the kind of pests and threats that our plants get.

Garden plants can be affected by fungus, bacteria and virus, just like we do. They can get infestations of small insects like spider mites, aphids and many other. Creatures like ant, snail and slug can also harm a plant if not controlled.

organic pest control

Most of these plant problems can be solved by organic pest control. There is 99% no need for chemical ones. I say 99% so that we use chemical pesticides only if we reach a do-or-die like situation. But if you apply the ones that I have mentioned below, there should not be such a situation.

Plants also tend to get diseases due to various reasons. Something like root rot or a nutrient deficiency need a different solution.

Also remember that if you live in a city where there is a lot of humidity, you will have a harder time with pests. I live in Kolkata and have to take extra care to protect my plants.

Organic Pest control methods that I use

When we apply any organic method, it has an advantage over chemical ones. Usually, an overdose of the chemical pesticide will always burn or harm the plant. Organic ones hardly do that.

Apply organic pest control solution from time to time. Do not wait for the problem to happen. Organic pest control is like Ayurveda for the plants. It helps holistically.

Note that prevention is always better than cure. So, I follow these organic pest control methods that I have learnt online from other YouTubers. After trying a lot of things, I want to tell you what is best.

These are very useful and I would like you to know and use it for your garden. I like to give away my experience to other desi gardeners so that they would also benefit from it.

Organic Pest control method #1

Neem oil + soap + baking soda

Duration – Weekly. Best during sunset, can also apply at sunrise.

No matter what other thing you do for your plants, always apply method #1 neem spray every week. You can combine #1 with any other method #2, #3 or #4.

Neem spray can be made using neem oil or leaves. If you have neem leaves, boil it and after cooling it, spray it on your plants.

I use Neem oil as I do not get leaves easily plus it is quicker to prepare.  In my sprayer, I add 1 liter of water and about a spoon full of neem oil. Then add a half a spoon of dishwasher liquid/ shampoo liquid detergent or if nothing else, very little detergent powder (although inorganic but not too harmful). This is added to dissolve the oil in the solution and also deter insects. It is optional to add a full teaspoon of baking soda. It works well for my plants as it also provides them with nutrients.

So put these 2 or 3 ingredients together, mix well and spray the plant fully from top to bottom.

Please get a good sprayer for our garden. I would suggest you to get a one with the pump like I use. It is easier to use and it sprays with more pressure. You can choose to spray hard or just mist the plants with this type of sprayer.

organic pest control

Organic Pest control method #2

Homemade fermented solution of rice + Curd+ jaggery + yeast

Duration – Once a month, spray during sunset or early morning

I learnt this method from Professor Surj Prakash Agarwal, Professor and Principal of Vidyanagar College in Kolkata. He is a very learned man who has been educating gardeners around the world.  I have personally learned so much from him and I am much excited to share his instructions with you.

We desi gardeners have a lot of stuff easily available in our bazaar or home that can make all in one organic pest control medicine. In this video, Dr. Agarwal instructs us to take in 5 liter of water in a container. In it apply 100 gm of curd, 200 gm of molasses/ jaggery/gur, 100 gm readymade rice and 50 gm of yeast. Mix and cover it, then keep in shade for 7 days. It is necessary to stir the solution everyday for best results.

Stirring it every morning is best. After seven days, strain the liquid, put into your sprayer and bathe the plants. Please see the full video to know the right process.

This solution is an all-in-one solution for not only pests but also against fungus, bacteria, virus and insects. On top of that, this solution contains a lot of nutrients that plants get as a bonus. As he says, you can store it for a maximum of 15 days.

Organic Pest control method #3

Quick solution with onion, garlic etc.

Duration – Once a month, spray during sunset

This is also an all-rounder.  The solution is an organic pesticide, fungicide, antibiotic and insect deterrent. This is my favourite organic pest control solution as it takes lesser time. I learnt of this method from school teacher, master gardener and YouTuber Mr Samrat. As the video is in Bengali I have written down the full instructions below.

Take 2 liters of water. Now to that you have to add a mixture of a few things-

  • Add 1 onion. Onions kills larvae of insects protecting your plant from infestations. Its strong smell also drives away many other pests.
  • 1 garlic. Garlic is a super medicine in itself.
  • 4 to 5 green chilies. The strong smell and taste will make the bugs run out of your garden…into your neigbour’s 😀
  • Add bunch of neem leaves fresh or dried
  • Take a handful of tulsi leaves. Tulsi plants keeps away pests and harmful insects
  • One aloe vera leaf. The aloevera gel not only kills insects but also helps plants to build up immunity. It also helps in sticking the medicine onto the plants and soil (for which we usually use of liquid soap)
  • Turmeric powder or raw turmeric. It acts as an excellent fungicide and scares away centipedes and ants. It also helps to build immunity from within the plant.
  • Darchini powder/Cinnamon bark. Cinnamon will help to scare off ants and also act as fungicide. He says that turmeric and darchini have been used for centuries in our gardening.
  • Adding few neem leaves gives a strong smell that insects hate.
  • 2 tsp vinegar.

Don’t worry if you don’t have all ingredients. I do not have lemongrass so I skip it. I have missed adding darchini a few times also.

Mix it all in mixer grinder. Add it to 2 litre water. Keep aside for half an hour, then strain it and spray.

Be careful to protect your eyes as it has chillies in it. It is 100% organic, non-toxic and will not disturb bees or butterflies. Apply in the evening, do not apply during daytime.

Adjust the ingredients for the mixture if you want more or less. Half it for one litre of solution. Do not store it. If you have to, store it for maximum of 24 hours in a closed container in the fridge. Apply once a month.

This solution is overall so good that I can vouch for it. I have stopped buying chemical insecticides and pesticides when I can I make it so easily. I am so thankful to this channel and Mr. Samrat for teaching us about this method.

One of the best things about our Indian desi gardening is that we have so much at our fingertips. This makes me feel lucky that I live in India 😊

 Organic Pest control method #4

Cultured bio enzyme potion cum pest control with chilli and garlic

Duration – Once a month, during morning. Spray or apply directly on soil.

When we make an organic pest control solution, it also gives us the benefits of providing nutrients for the plants.

In this video learn how to make not only a pesticide but also a bio enzyme from the YouTube channel Amlaan Baag. Here the master gardener Anjana Ma’am tells us how to make bio pesticide at home using chilli and garlic.

This needs to be done in in an airtight bottle. See the video carefully for the instructions. You will an old cold drink or water bottle, water, gur or jaggery and some chilli and garlic from the kitchen. It takes some time to prepare but the results are worth it.

Using this technique with #1, #2 or #3, you would never have to use any synthetic, inorganic or chemical pesticide, insecticide or medicinal spray again. Hope these techniques help you to make a healthy and happy garden.

 

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